Paintball Goggles Buyer's Guide
Paintball Buyers Guide: Goggles
Choose the Right Paintball Goggle to Play Safe, Look Good and Win!
Contrary to popular belief, the most important purchase a new paintball player will make isn’t their paintball gun. While all paintball guns will in some form or fashion make paintballs go towards the bad guys when the trigger is pulled, a good pair of paintball goggles is a critical purchase for every paintball player, and one that will immediately benefit them every single time that paintball goggle system is put on. A good paintball goggle system is designed to keep the wearer safe by protecting the eyes, face, ears and in many cases the forehead and neck of the player within, while resisting fogging and helping the player spot their opponent on the field. Selecting a comfortable, quality set of paintball goggles with the right set of features will make every single day of paintball the buyer plays from that point forward safer and much more fun by allowing the player to enjoy the game safely and win!
Most paintball players experience their first game, and first day of paintball from underneath a rented set of paintball goggles. While perfectly safe and acceptable for use in the game of paintball and meeting or exceeding ASTM standards for safety and quality, a rented paintball facemask may leave a little bit to be desired in terms of comfort, style and its ability to resist fogging. Therefore, once that first day is over, the adrenalin rush is experienced, the fun is had and that new player is hooked on the game, it’s time to head to the pro shop and decide on a new pair of paintball goggles that combine safety, comfort, performance and style ideally for each individual player so the game can be truly enjoyed. A player who’s only ever played the game of paintball in a rented goggle will feel like they’re playing for the first time again when they step onto the field in a brand new set of high-end paintball goggles that are comfortable, stylish and that don’t fog!
The first step in selecting the perfect paintball goggle is to remember what issues might have come up with the basic set a player might have played their first game in. Did the rental goggles fog? Were they uncomfortable, did they pinch or did the wearer have trouble adjusting them to stay on securely, and was the wearer able to breathe, see and communicate with teammates easily while wearing them? A new, high-end pair of paintball goggles is designed to allow plenty of air to flow through, to fit more comfortably and adjust to the wearer’s personal preferences of style and game play. A player who intends to lock and load with a loadbearing vest, tactical boots, a magazine-fed paintball gun and capture objectives in camouflage likely won’t want a snug-fitting, bright red or blue paintball mask, while a tournament player looking for something light, with as tight a profile as possible in a color to match their team’s uniform probably won’t opt for a black and olive drab mask with a hard face shield and plenty of room for a radio microphone underneath.
Once a player decides what style of play they’re serious about enjoying, it’s next it’s all about features. A thermal or anti-fog lens is critical for almost every player as this will ensure clear vision throughout every game of paintball in almost any weather conditions. Speaking of lenses, how easy is the lens in that new goggle to change out for a new one? Some goggles are more easily dismantled for lens swaps or cleaning than others! If a player lives in an area where it may rain more often, a goggle with a good visor should be considered as the visor will clip onto the mask over top of the goggle frame, helping to keep rainwater out.
Once a goggle that’s easy to take apart and clean, easy to swap lenses and that defends against fogging is selected, it’s down to comfort. Try on as many paintball masks as possible to find one that ideally fits the face – some larger players find that the smaller, tighter profile of sleek, tournament-style goggles from some manufacturers simply don’t offer the level of coverage and protection they desire, while younger, smaller players wearing a full-blown tactical goggle with thick armor and all the accessories may feel a bit like a bobble-head and want something a bit smaller. Different goggles offer different styles or types of face foam and ear protection and these are critical to comfort as well – goggles that aren’t the right fit may pinch behind the ears or a goggle with thicker, firmer face foam may be a bit uncomfortable for some players. For smaller players, or those who plan to do a lot of sliding and diving, a goggle equipped with a chin strap to augment the goggle strap may be a good idea to ensure the mask stays put to protect the wearer during those rough and tumble games!
Then there’s style. While all paintball goggles are certified to protect the owner from incoming paintballs and help make the game more enjoyable, there’s absolutely the factor of how it looks. Players looking to creep through the woods should consider something darker like a black or olive green, and some companies even offer camouflage versions! Tournament players often wear brightly colored uniforms, and some goggle manufacturers offer goggle systems that match team uniforms. Furthermore, most goggle manufacturers even offer tinted goggle lenses in different mirrored colors both to cut down on glare and look downright cool on the field!
The right paintball goggle will instantly make any paintball player better and ensure they have a great time playing the game of paintball we all love! So choose wisely! Try on as many goggles as possible at the local paintball store or pro-shop before buying, be sure it fits properly, is comfortable, resists fogging and will be an investment for the long haul!